The coming Apple TV+ streaming service looks like it’s joining the streaming wars earlier than anticipated.
Bloomberg reports that Apple Inc. plans to roll out its Apple TV+ subscription service by November this year, putting it in direct competition with the highly anticipated launch of Disney+ premiering the same month. The service is aiming to launch globally in over 150 countries.
The tech company hasn’t announced any official pricing but is reportedly weighing the option of $9.99 a month, on par with Apple Music and Apple News+. That’s on the higher side compared to Netflix and Amazon Prime’s lower tiers and Disney+ who are only charging $6.99 a month.
Those aforementioned services also have a ton more content than Apple TV+ which will launch with a fairly anaemic slate. The initial batch of shows include the Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon-led “The Morning Show,” Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories,” “See” with Jason Momoa, “Truth Be Told” with Octavia Spencer, and a documentary series about extravagant houses called ‘”Home”.
The company will reportedly introduce this small selection of shows before it expands its catalogue more frequently over several months. The Financial Times reports that Apple has ‘committed’ $6 billion toward original programming, up from a previous $1 billion outlay, but what time period that spending is over isn’t clear. Again that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the $14 billion which Netflix lays out annually for content.
Still, one thing you can say about these Apple shows is that they aren’t cheap. That Bloomberg report indicates the company has apparently spent $300 million on the two ten-episode seasons of “The Morning Show” – working out to around $15 million per episode which would make it one of the most expensive TV series ever made. That follows on the heels of a report last month that “See” came in at a cost of nearly $15 million per episode as well.
Apple will reportedly test out its service first with a free trial, giving them time to build its library of original content. They haven’t yet decided on a release strategy for its shows. One idea reportedly being floated is offering the first three episodes of some programs followed by weekly installments.